A SHEFFIELD bank worker was so infatuated with her boyfriend she stole customers’ details so he could plunder £20,000 from their accounts, a court heard.
Sarah Bolsover, and her former boyfriend Russell Gale, both 20, were sent to young offender’s institutions for 10 months after they admitted conspiracy to defraud 12 customers.
Their relatives wept in the public gallery as Judge Alan Goldsack QC said the fraud was so serious he was imposing immediate terms of custody.
He said: “This was deliberate and persistent crime. It was a fraud on bank customers by obtaining the details of their debit cards and then using them to obtain property. The main beneficiary was you, Gale, but this was a fraud that couldn’t have been perpetrated without someone inside the bank providing you with details of the customers.”
The judge added: “The victims are at least put to very substantial distress and anxiety when they discover someone is using their account fraudulently.”
Sheffield Crown Court heard Bolsover, of Base Green Avenue, Base Green, worked at HBOS bank at Crystal Peaks. Over eight months starting in 2008, she accessed the accounts of 12 customers she had served at the branch.
Tamara Pawson, prosecuting, said the scam came to light when customer Michael Whitfield noticed ten fraudulent transactions on his bank statement.
The payments, totalling £2,636.70, had been paid to a firm called Maximuscle Ltd. Mr Whitfield reported the matter to HBOS.
Miss Pawson said he then received a promotional magazine from Maximuscle and rang the company which told him two orders, using his card details had been placed and sent to a J Brown at an address in Mosbrough Hall Drive, Halfway, Sheffield. It later transpired that was a former address of Gale’s.
Mr Whitfield contacted the police.
It emerged he had been served by Bolsover at the Crystal Peaks branch and she had made an inquiry into his account to access his card details.
Cash was also taken from the accounts of Derek Lomas, Patricia Whincup, Janet Dixon, Pauline Quinn, Robert Cousin, James Webster, Benita Wilcox, Jean Lane, Paul Castledine and Jean and Peter Skelton. Miss Pawson said all had been served by Bolsover and payments had been taken from their accounts for products bought from companies including Maximuscle and delivered to the address at Mosborough Hall Drive.
The couple’s home was raided by police and they were arrested.
In interview Bolsover denied involvement while Gale, of Oxclose Park Gardens, Halfway, denied asking Bolsover for any account details.
Peter Warne, defending Gale, who has a previous conviction for using fake money, said he was 17 when the offences were committed and he had pleaded guilty at an early stage.
Chris Atwool, for Bolsover, said she was easy to manipulate and vulnerable and had been infatuated with Gale. “She was emotionally and physically in awe of her co-accused and for a year she refused to co-operate with any plans but then succumbed.” He said her obsession with the relationship and her fear of it ending unilaterally meant she has lost everything. “The only thing she has gained is a bad character.”
Judge Goldsack said she had “lied and lied” to police, only admitting her guilt a week before her trial was due to start.